10 Ways to Find More Prospects


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10 Ways to Find More Prospects

  1. 1. ==== ====10 Prospecting Tips, Generate 2-10 Leads PER DAY, PER TRICK!www.10prospectingtips.info==== ====Have you ever wondered why some people in sales are always over quota while others seem tobe always behind plan? Why are some people highly successful in sales while others arent?There are plenty training programs and books on "How to close the sale", "Negotiate to Win", etc.So why do we see such wide variations in peoples success in sales today? Are some salespeople just naturally better closers than others? Yes, maybe. But I believe that there is somethingmuch more important going on here. In fact over the last 25 years working in sales I have seensomething very different which I believe is the foundation of success in sales.Lets consider the 4 basic steps in the sales process: 1) Identification of an opportunity, 2)understanding the customers needs, 3) making a proposal, and 4) negotiation and close.Traditional sales training tends to focus on negotiation and closing and conventional wisdom tellsus that success in sales = ABC (Always Be Closing). If you can double your closing rate you willincrease your sales by 100%. Question: Is this really possible and can it be done in a sustainableway? I think not. So what is the real key to success in sales today? The answer lies at the start ofthe sales process: Step 1) Identification of an opportunity or prospecting. By simply finding moreprospects you will dramatically increase your success in sales. If you double the number ofprospects and hold your closing rate constant, you will double the number of sales you make. Sothe secret to success in sales is ABP. (Always Be Prospecting)1. Conferences, Exhibitions & Trade Shows. Conventional thinking in prospecting says useall the traditional approaches such as Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Periodicals, Reviews,Newsletters, etc. My experience has shown me that conventional approaches produce veryconventional results, which are usually inadequate to transform your success in sales today. Hereis one very simple technique that I use and have found very successful. It is easy to do,inexpensive and it works. Try it and see how many qualified prospects you can identify for aninvestment of 3 hours of your time. Conferences, Exhibitions & Trade Shows. Participate inas many of these events as you can. Industry Events that are for your target customers or relatedto your target customers business are a prospectors gold mine. Simply spend time there talking topeople. Talk to everyone that you can. From conference attendees, to people that you meet duringcoffee breaks, to Conference Speakers and Panelists. At Exhibitions and Trade Shows talk toexhibitors, sales people on exhibitor booths and people you meet on the exhibition floor. Salespeople are dying to tell you about what they do, their company and their products. Let them sell toyou. Learn from them about their industry, the key Industry Players, their sales arguments, theirpositioning and whenever possible find out their PAIN points. You will go home with a rolodex ofbusiness cards. The Exhibitor Catalogue is a prospectors bible.2. The Magic of Networking. To be a successful networker you need to meet as many people asyou can, have a clear objective in mind for each meeting and have an "n + 1" belief system. Thatis never expect to be talking to someone who is directly a prospect for your products or services,
  2. 2. but be sure that person will know at least one person who is a potential prospect. And it is thisperson that you want to make contact with, meet and ultimately make a your proposal to. How do Ibecome good at networking? Firstly, I suggest that you join one or two networking groups such asbusiness groups or business luncheons, eg. Lunch @ Circle, business clubs, associations, specialinterest groups, eg. Toastmasters International, School or University Alumnis. Secondly, start afile of meeting participant and keep updating it regularly. Thirdly, make a conscientious effort tokeep your network active by maintaining regular contact and expand it with new contacts. Findways to add value to your contacts by thinking of ways that you can help them. Give before youget is the mind-set for success in networking. Your effort will be rewarded generously over time.Finally, make it a habit. In fact, prospecting is networking with a purpose3. Networking on the Web Today we all have access to an extraordinary range of powerful webbased tools to search out opportunities and prospects. You can use web search tools with laserprecision to target new prospects. You can google your way to anyone. Maximize your chances ofsuccess. Recently I ran a search in Linked-in of all people in High Tech, based in Paris, andordered thembased on the number of people in their personal networks. My goal was to meetthose individuals with the largest personal networks because they can introduce me to greatestnumber of their contacts (n+1 thinking). Several weeks ago, on a flight from Stockholm to Paris Isat next to the French Country Manager of Xing, Yann Mauchamp. Yann is a professional andtakes his business very seriously. He has over 3,500 people in his personal network ofprofessional contacts. Now thats the sort person that I want to know. With friends like this, being aprospecting machine has never been easier. In addition you can search extremely effectively forexample by searching Industry and Association Websites or Networking Websites, such asLinked-in, Xing, or Viaduc.4. Speeches and Public Appearances Here is one of my favorite prospecting ideas, which I haveused successfully for many years and I can assure you that it works. Create leads by makingspeeches and other public appearances. This requires becoming a subject matter expert in yourchosen field. This is easier than you may think. Chose an area of interest that you areknowledgeable and passionate about, or chose an area of interest that you clearly know moreabout than most people. Then accept every opportunity you can get to address a group, speak onyour subject, be part of a panel, or participate in a discussion group, etc. Its all high visibilityexposure and that is exactly what youre looking for. People will come up to you afterwards andgive you their business cards. This is reverse psychology at its best. After you have spoken to agroup you are no longer the same person. You have been transformed into an expert, a guru,somehow you have become super human. This makes everyone want to meet you, talk to you,and get your business card. Take plenty with you. Use this technique to create pull, rather thanpush. So put the odds in your favor. Youll have people truly hoping that you will contact them as aresult of your brief exchange of business cards.5. Leverage Your Clients Supply Chain The idea here is to prospect amongst your clientscustomers, suppliers, partners or competitors. In other words, look for sales opportunities in yourclients "business eco-system". Let me give you 3 simple examples of how you can do this. ClientsCustomers: Suppose that one of your customers supplies their services to the maritime shippingindustry. Your company sells a software solution for Human Resource Management that is perfectfor managing the crewing of large maritime fleets. Ask your client for an introduction to 3 of theirlargest maritime shipping customers. Clients Suppliers: Another one of your clients uses PCs froma major PC manufacturer. Your HR management system runs most economically and reliably on
  3. 3. certain configurations of that hardware manufacturers machines. Ask your client for anintroduction to that Hardware Vendor, then propose your solution to the Hardware Vendorschannel partners as an turn-key solution to meet their customers HR Management needs. ClientsCompetitors: Your clients competitors are also excellent targets for you to prospect. Often theyhave the same or similar business problems and you have firsthand experience of how yoursolution helps solve these problems. In addition to being an established supplier in their sector,you have a reference customer who is a respected competitor. Navigate your clients supply chainand you will uncover a gold mine of prospecting opportunities for your products and services.6. Leverage the network of contacts and industry knowledge of Journalists Journalists are wellconnected and knowledgeable about a lot of things that are of interest to you and your business.They have a high level view on what is happening in your field and they always know a lot ofimportant people. The sort of key people that you would like to know! Because Journalists speakto industry leaders, thought leaders in your sector, your competitors and even your customers youneed to get close to them and make them part of your virtual team. Interview a Journalist. Yes,use deviant thinking and reverse the conventional roles. How? Invite a Journalist to participate ona conference panel that you are organizing. Ask them to present an industry overview or speakabout future trends or challenges that your industry is facing. Why? 1) This gives you credibilitybecause they are seen as an independent thought leader. 2) He/she will talk about you and yourbusiness to others afterwards. Get them to talk about you and your business. Invite or sponsor aJournalist to moderate an industry seminar or a customer event. Or ask them to speak aboutcustomers problems and solutions that are available today. Or ask them to present a specific casestudy. You and your solution will be associated with the Journalists presentation and remarks.7. Using Referrals The best way to approach someone who you dont yet know is via someonethey already know. This is type of approach is known as a using a referral. A good referral givesyou privileged access to an open minded audience. When you contact someone via a referral youautomatically have the same trust and respect that the person who gave the referral has. Make themost of this when describing your proposition or presenting your idea. Your success in sales isdirectly tied to the number and quality of referrals that you can generate. How do you getreferrals? Simple, you ask for them. Everyone that you meet is ready and willing to give youreferrals - if you only ask. How you ask determines the number and quality of referrals you get.Here is a simple example: At the end of your next client meeting ask: "Can you suggest 2-3colleagues of yours that may have the same needs or concerns as you?" Then ask: "Can Imention your name and refer to our discussion when I contact them?" 1) Write down the name,title, company, phone number and email address for each referral. 2) Confirm that you are able touse your contacts name and make reference to your discussion. Example: "Mr. Smith, I was givenyour name by Mary Jones at 123 Ltd., who suggested that I contact you. My company is workingwith Mary to reduce in-store shop lifting and she thought that you would be interested by thepositive results she has obtained using our ABC anti-theft device in her 5 largest city stores." Withan opening introduction like this you will capture your prospects full and undivided attention andsuddenly doors will be opened at all levels of your prospects organization.8. Leveraging Sporting and Corporate Events A great new prospects is at events. Events rangingfrom school sports meetings to Corporate VIP hospitality events. Being There. Attend some localsporting events where you will meet other people with similar sporting interests or attend your kidsschool sports events where you will meet other parents and from there you can get to newprospects using "n+1" thinking together with asking for referrals. Corporate VIP Hospitality Events.
  4. 4. These types of events are a wonderful opportunity to invite those prospects that you cannot easilyget to meet. This is often the case when you are trying to meet senior management, busy anddifficult to reach people who hold ultimate decision making responsibility. The idea here is to makethe event so appealing and the invitation so prestigious that prospects will do anything to be ableto participate. Examples include the International Tennis Grand Slam. eg. Roland Garros orWimbledon, the F1 Grand Prix, the UEFA Cup, or the Rugby World Cup. Now, be sure to invite asmany VIP prospects and VIP customers as you possibly can. Existing customers can discuss theirexperience working with you and your company and give "spontaneous testimonials" to yourinvited VIP prospects. Give your prospects a VIP invitation to a high profile event and you willalways be remembered. Even if they cannot make it or decline your invitation, you have set upreciprocity for later use.9. Getting Recommended Without doubt the single most effective way that I know to find newprospects and win new business is to be recommended. Being recommended by someone putsyou in an extremely privileged position. Firstly you dont need to sell yourself or your services asthis has already been established and accepted. You simply need to conform to the picture of youand your capabilities that was painted by the person who recommended you. Then start adiagnostic conversation to uncover the prospects problem(s). Get him/her talking about what isnot going well, what is off track or is in some way causing him or her a problem. You are like adentist "probing for PAIN". The greater the PAIN the greater the size of the sale. No PAIN, noGAIN! How do you get yourself recommended? Use every opportunity you get to talk about whatsin your BAG. What? Yes, whenever you meet someone you need to explain your Blessings,Achievements and Goals (BAG). For example: I am very lucky. I have several large clients rightnow who are keeping me extremely busy (B). I have just completed a very successful clientinstallation of our new Mobile Business Messaging service that allows their field sales people tostay connected with the office when they are on the road. They really love automaticsynchronization of email, automatic updates to meetings and changes to their agendas (A). Basedon this success I now plan to introduce this solution at Group HQ. They have over 1,000 peoplewho are travelling constantly. They could gain even bigger savings in time and increases inefficiency (G). So, show everyone your BAG and soon they will be recommending you to theirassociates, colleagues and friends.10. Never Eat Alone This has got to be one of the most productive and enjoyable, yet least usedmethods of prospecting that I know of. This is the quickest way to get to "privileged conversations"with a real exchange of information and ideas. I have found that people are far more open, honestwith you and direct when they are relaxed and enjoying a nice meal. Ask questions about them.The secret to being a good conversationalist and getting people to talk openly with you is verysimple. Talk about them. Ask questions about them, about what they do, about their families,about what they like/dislike and about their concerns. Your sincere interest will be rewarded withinformation that is rich in fact, opinion, emotion and prospecting potential. Make them part of yournetwork by building the foundation of a long relationship that you can come back to in the future.Gain Industry and Market Intelligence. Ask them what they know about your areas of interest: eg.Market trends, industries, sectors, customers, projects and people. Ask who else do they knowamongst their colleagues, associates and friends who may have the same interests, concerns,problems, etc. Always try and get 3 referrals before coffee. Do this right and you will come awaywith the equivalent of thousands of Euros worth of industry knowledge and market data, plus 3referrals and a friend for life for a total investment of a 50EUR lunch. Thats got to be the best ROIthat I know of! Lets assume that most people eat 3 meals a day and that most people work 5 days
  5. 5. per week. That means that you have 15 opportunities to eat with someone per week. Set yourselfa goal of 2 lunch meetings, 1 breakfast meeting and 1 dinner per week. Start planning youragenda now!Good Luck and remember. Always Be Prospecting.David R Ednie is President and CEO of SalesChannel Europe SARL. He is acknowledged as anexpert in Sales Performance Motivation, International Sales and Sales Channels. David has over20 years international business experience working in culturally diverse markets in Europe, theMiddle East, Africa and the Emerging Markets of Central and Eastern Europe. Clients include:Alexander Hughes, Dow Jones, Orange Business Services, Microsoft EMEA, Tiscali Intl Network,GL Trade and Infor (Datastream).Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Ednie==== ====10 Prospecting Tips, Generate 2-10 Leads PER DAY, PER TRICK!www.10prospectingtips.info==== ====